Karthick Ramakrishnan

Karthick Ramakrishnan is professor of public policy at the University of California, Riverside, and director of AAPI Data and the National Asian American Survey.

Recent Articles

How Asian Americans Became Democrats

The last two decades have seen a major shift in the party preferences of Asian Americans, but they're still not deeply engaged in civic life.

(Photo: AP/Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
This article appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here. As a force at the ballot box, Asian Americans caught the media’s attention in 2012, when exit polls showed that they supported Barack Obama with 73 percent of their votes, a level exceeded only by African Americans. That year, Obama also won a big majority of Latinos, but his strong showing among Asian Americans was a much bigger surprise. In 1992, the majority of Asian Americans had voted for George H.W. Bush, creating the impression that as an upwardly mobile and affluent group, they would continue to vote Republican. But 20 years later, in an astounding shift, Asian Americans moved 40 points toward the Democrats in presidential elections. Since they’re also the fastest growing racial group in the United States, the change has major implications for the future of American politics. While the attention to Asian Americans in 2012 was long overdue, much of the commentary was...